In the Town of Longmeadow settled in 1644, incorporated in 1783, in a parish organized in 1868, dedicated in 1870 and established in a permanent church in 1931, St. Mary’s has come a long way. From a mission parish of fewer than 100 pioneering souls to a parish of forty seven hundred. A tract of houses on each side. Depending upon their size, families were assigned a pew or portion of a pew. Single domestics sat in the rear.
It wasn’t until 1914 that membership increased to the point of overcrowding. In 1920 there was an effort to raise funds by voluntary contributions for a permanent church. By 1921 the church was so crowded on Sunday that the children sat inside the altar rail, the sacristy was jammed and parishioners stood on the sacristy and front steps and even knelt on the lawn. It was agreed that a larger permanent St. Mary’s was an absolute necessity.
St. Mary’s Guild was inaugurated June 2, 1924 for the purpose of raising money to build a church. They began work in a big way. In the following years members organized the annual lawn party, silver teas, card parties, chicken suppers, dances, bake sales, raffles and other socials. Everybody did their part, the men of the parish, the children, Springfield merchants, banks, utility companies, everybody.
By 1927 Father Richard Murphy was able to buy the Howard property on Longmeadow Street. In November of that year all services were transferred to a temporary structure on Bliss Road.
Appropriately the ground for the new St. Mary’s, no longer a mission church, was broken in the month of Our Lady, May 1931. Father John Rogers successor to Father Murphy was to supervise the actual building of our Gothic style church. The church was built by the William Quinn Co, Contractors., for approximately $100,000. The first mass in the new St. Mary’s was offered at midnight on Christmas in 1931. The fact that there were still no pews no beautiful stained-glass windows did not disturb the joyful parishioners. The interior of the church would not be completed for another twelve years.
In September 1967 St. Mary's School opened its doors The building not only provided an edifice for receiving a Catholic education but accommodations for Faith Formation, a huge basketball program and many other parish programs and activities.
The history of St. Mary's is but another story of God’s love for His people and their reciprocal love for their God. To know Him is to love Him and to serve Him. Sparked with enthusiasm, the people of St. Mary’s have given testimony that faith in action is love, and love in action is service.
Source : Seed Sown on Good Ground, A history of St .Mary’s Parish Longmeadow Massachusetts, by Sister Mary H. Murray, S.S.J.,Ph.D.